Cause For Concern?

Discussion in 'Features, Announcements, Comments and Criticism' started by Tom Dunne, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. Davie Hudson

    Davie Hudson Well-Known Member

    I think my usage of the X-A1 will be to bang a pancake lens on it and leave it in the car... I got my free lens last week btw and am loving that too. I pretty much have from 14mm up to 230mm covered
  2. Tom Dunne

    Tom Dunne Well-Known Member

    @Pat Reehal Rehal
    @Pat Reehal
    Pat, it was my good intention to reply to your post but, like many other things, it slipped my mind.
    I am so sorry to hear this news concerning your Grandson; it is the worst thing that could have happened in all of this. It cannot have been very nice for his Mam either. This situation could have been pre-empted but sadly it wasn't; it's not that the warning signs were not there. You all deserve an apology.
    Hopefully now, the forum will have learnt from this and what ever is needed, to prevent a repeat of this, will now be put in place.
  3. Pat Reehal

    Pat Reehal Active Member

    Bless you Tom for your gracious thoughts and comments. There is absolutely no need to apologise, I am in a funny way delighted that the lad was able to decide that what he was reading was wrong and, importantly, had the confidence to show it to Mum for her thoughts. Not quite the test of character that I would have chosen but one which has made me proud of him.

    I think we have all learnt something from this unsavoury episode and it's now time to move on. I have spoken to both my Grandson and his Mum and Dad and I think that the wee snapper will again visit the forum for the advice and quality of the wonderful photos that you and many others post.

    Thank you again for your kind thoughts.

    Now we have to get Julian back on as I really miss his unique style.
    Tom Dunne likes this.
  4. Pat Reehal

    Pat Reehal Active Member

    I have caught up on some of your postings Davie and it is clear that the wonderful Fuji colours suit both your style and capture. Some fabulous photos.

    Those so called budget XC lenses are astonishing and especially so when that kind Mr Fuji gives one for free!
  5. Davie Hudson

    Davie Hudson Well-Known Member

    Thanks Pat, I have to admit to really enjoying the whole process of the fuji. I imagine that for my next exhibition it will be entirely fuji shots :)
  6. Martin Pancisin

    Martin Pancisin Active Member

    Hi guys,
    I am a new member and I would like to offer few insights from the newbie perspective and my personal experience. I shall restrain from replying to all posts, but would like to address some point from the original post by @Tom Dunne. I hope this might shed a bit of light on the issue.

    First of all, this forum is the best forum I have joined. The quality of the content is (IMHO) unrivalled and (active) members are very enthusiastic, helpful and honest.

    To paraphrase, the question is "Why do you join the forum if you don't contribute?". Here are two factors can be identified: "Why don't you post any new photos?" and "Why don't you comment?".

    As for the first one, some people just join when looking for inspiration and some can be quite scared off to post some photos, because the standards are quite high, in my opinion. I have posted my photos, but I have also struggled a lot until I pushed myself to do it. So yes, it is unfortunate for the forum when the new members are not posting their photos but maybe they just need some time and maybe they will never post anything.

    As for the second one, it was answered in part but I would like to offer an additional reason. I don't have the statistics nor the overview of the new members, but as for a non-native speaker it can be intimidating to post something to a thread where you don't understand the english which is being used. I am arrogant/dumb enough to believe that I can understand english also in its finer nuances, but I find some threads to be very difficult to follow. For me personally it makes it even more interesting and in my opinion it gives the forum and its users a face. :) So please do not try to change it, but it might be a reason.

    In my experience (being a member of international non-profit organisation with 40+ years of history), it is a nature of the beast. For many people internet forum is a free time activity, you want to be active but then life gets in the way. I am sorry, but I don't think that this will change and I don't think that removing inactive users would improve things.

    I would like to concur, I observe a forum with new quality content every day, with a core of users who are always there for you and are extremely knowledgeable. This is not common. :)

    I hope this helps a bit.
  7. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Thanks, Martin. I know that Brian and I lapse into Scots vernacular at times, if only to counter the seemingly inexorable move towards American English become the only International language of communication. Plus, I think it adds a little local colour, and there's nothing wrong with that. So I will, as you say, not stop doing that. That said, I do know that Ivar for one finds it hard to follow at times. Sorry, Ivar!

    I don't think this forum is dead on its knees, but there is only a core of a dozen or so contributors, so I would like to see new voices speaking up where possible. If someone thinks the level of photography is high, I can only say that when I first came here my photographic skills were at Level Zero, but I was encouraged to upload my efforts, and I think the folk here have helped me improve over the years. So don't hold back!
    Martin Pancisin likes this.
  8. Pat Reehal

    Pat Reehal Active Member

    Martin that has to be the best description of this site that I have ever seen.

    I would only add that for the less-gifted but well intentioned, i.e. me, this site has taught me so much.
  9. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Thank you Martin, that is really valuable feedback.
  10. Tom Dunne

    Tom Dunne Well-Known Member

    Thank you Martin.
    The main purpose of my original post was a rallying call, if you like, to current members to try and participate a bit more for the betterment of the forum whilst observing the very large number of those that sign up, with enthusiasm, and then become forever invisible.. I think it was worth considering why. You have provided some good reasons in your post.
    No where in my post, though, did I suggest or even mention that inactive members be removed; that would be a huge mistake. On the contrary, we should be encouraging them and one of the ways to do this would be to keep the forum busy and interesting.
  11. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    I have seen this, it just requires some thought to answer :)
    Rob MacKillop likes this.
  12. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    Firstly, this thread goes someway to demonstrate the quality of the community here ... But ...

    I'll make my excuses first ...

    Despite holding the keys along side Pete, I have to some extent stepped back from this site a little bit. I still read posts most days, but I rarely contribute beyond posting a few of my own favourite pics and the odd comment.

    Thee are a few reasons for this ...

    The first, is that when I set up this forum my business was merely burgeoning... It arguably still is, but back then I had time to commit in my working day. Now I don't, not by half. I now employ 4 (total inc me) people, and have a level of responsibility for the partial income of 2 or 3 more sub contractors. This has become a little more than I originally expected from starting my own business ...

    Secondly, I don't work much as a photographer any more. And what I do shoot will have little meaning or context if posted here. Photography for design is a very different kettle of fish to much other photography.

    Thirdly, my hobby is kit focused. As many of you know I write a blog about cameras. We don't have a big camera enthusiast community here.

    Fourthly, 3 year old

    And lastly, my response to photography has changed. I no longer find any need for congratulation, comment, critique or anything. I share because I like to I like looking at other people photos. Im just not that interested in commenting. I enjoy them, or I don't ... The thoughts and responses are something I don't feel a need to share. This makes me pretty useless on a forum like this.... I'm not really sure why I feel this way, it's just the way it is.

    Where I do have use ... Is managing and maintaining the place. And this is both in terms of function and community.

    For the record, on the subject on Tom, I'd like to say my bit.

    Bullying is a two way thing. He comes here, acts up a bit, gets on everyone's nerves, picks on a few people, quizzes, u-turns etc.

    But is it he who is the bully when we make him feel unwelcome?

    The reality is, in a forum that is trying to take a high ground on the sort of crap that goes on elsewhere online, the only way to take that high ground is to treat everyone, regardless of their attitude, as equal as possible. Even when they think they are superior, or have one over on us etc - we should alway take the path of welcoming them. All this talk of nastiness... It was as much everyone's response to Tom as it was him. If everyone had just turned a blind eye, made a joke of it, engaged him without letting it rile them (me inc.) we would have had no issues! Or at least less ... He probably would have got bored quicker at least

    And this is not me being critical of anyone in particular, because I played my part too. I'm just suggesting that if we want to keep things cool here, we have to keep our cool, and let the stormy winds just blow over us!

    It's right to want to defend what we have, but try to remember that one person joining, and being a bit of an antagonist for a few days is very unlikely to destroy over four years of community.

    In terms of encouraging engagement and new membership. I have tried. Many times.

    And this, since we are being honest, has always been my beef.

    At lot of the responsibility has come down to me. Responsibility that I have always made it clear I see as the wider forums.

    It is written very strongly into the forum ethos that I see us as all equal (me and Pete just a little more equal... )

    Over the years we have had mini competitions/challenges - the £10 camera challenge being a favourite on of mine - there were plenty of others though. I encouraged people to start their own, very few people did.

    We had an ezine, me and @Chris Dodkin pretty much co-authored it... It's no surprise that since I depreciated it we have both gone on to run our own fairly successful blogs ... I struggled to get people to take part in that in the ezine

    I've created a blog and asked people to contribute ... Basically sod all on that front, I've all but discouraged Pete from writing more for it for fear of it turning into a Pete Blog

    Can you imagine how disheartening putting that effort into expanding our community and getting no interest in it is for me?

    Other than the periodic updates and maintenance tasks I do, that was the last thing I did ...

    What I've come to the conclusion since then is that what people want is a quiet forum. With chat between a few folks they are comfortable with. No frills, just photos ...

    Can you see where I would get that impression from?

    Unfortunately it is very difficult to attract people to that and engage with people within in.

    Without the competitions/challenges etc we lack easy ways to engage.

    Without the blog etc we lack easy ways to draw people to the website.

    I am happy to help come up with and find ways to engage new users, but frankly, I need more support from the ones I have on board already! It's all well and good worrying and articulating that worry when things seem quiet around here... But if the community wants the community to thrive and grow, the community has to play its part.

    I will play my part to, but without the support from everyone else, I won't, I've learnt not to...

    Sorry to be blunt ... But hopefully you can all understand how I have come to feel this way
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  13. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Understood perfectly and brilliantly articulated Hamish - and that's why you're still the boss for me: whether you want to be or not! :)
  14. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Hamish, I've thanked you before for creating this site, and will thank you again. However, I have suspected for some time now that you have moved on, and perhaps feel it is a millstone around your neck. As we are all being direct and honest, would you like to close it down? I would understand if you did.
  15. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    I strongly suspect the answer is, no.
  16. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    No... I don't think I have moved on. As I say, I still maintain the place. Though usually silently. We upgraded the forum software to the latest version just the other day, and I'm now waiting for a new version to fix a bug in the text editor.

    As I say, my interests within photography, and my relationship with it, perhaps gel a little better with blogging and social media than a forum ... Which is what I do more ... But I've certainly not moved on.

    It's no burden on me either, I'd like it to fit my hobby a bit better, but that is to some degree not in the interests of everyone else... And to some degree (in the case of the blog) doesn't fit with everyone else. But that is my problem ... Just like any other member, I post when I want to and don't when I don't want to... I suspect like many of our other irregular posters I could be engaged by content a bit better ...

    Being the source of the ethical/moral stance of the forum, I'm also happy being the mediator and final arbiter in any disputes (I kinda revel in the power ;))

    So no, in short, I don't want to close it down, and even if I left altogether I still wouldn't ... I probably wouldn't even if everyone left.
  17. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    We are focusing on the wrong stuff here ...
    Tom dinning was the first to mention the quietness in any major way, and that seems to have sent ripples.

    Let's focus on moving the forum forward shall we?
    I'll start a new thread in way of a survey to see if we can't generate some sensible suggestions.
  18. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Absolutely. And I have plans for a theme and I might just post a few picture of some kit, just to keep you interested Hamish! ;)
  19. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    Get those kit pictures on the blog and I'll be even more interested ;)
  20. Tom Dunne

    Tom Dunne Well-Known Member

    My own thoughts on the forum have been outlined in my contributions to this thread so I don't want to go over old ground again.

    However I am still recovering from the shock from reading the following;
    "Bullying is a two way thing. He comes here, acts up a bit, gets on everyone's nerves, picks on a few people, quizzes, u-turns etc.
    But is it he who is the bully when we make him feel unwelcome? "

    I think this is outrageous, particularly the first sentence, and fails to offer even an iota of empathy whatsoever for the genuine concerns expressed by loyal members of the forum.

    I will leave it at that.
    Rob MacKillop and Pat Reehal like this.

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